Green vests virtually take on the Team of ’93

Although training has been continuing during lockdown on a solo basis, with running events in limbo Colchester Harriers’ athletes are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the sharpness required for racing.

With this in mind, various virtual competitions including a 100km relay, an Easter marathon competition, and an Ekiden Marathon 6 stage relay have  been organised by the club during lockdown, and in the latest of them at the current crop of runners took on a legendary Harriers team from yesteryear.

In 1993  the club recorded its fastest ever time in the in the Round Norfolk Relay race with its team navigating the 196 mile circumference of the county in a time of 20 hours, 30 minutes and 16 seconds, in the process finishing an excellent 4th in a  top quality field.

In tribute to this the club staged a solo 200 mile relay with the challenge of trying to beat 21 hours, the equivalent to the time ran by the team of 1993. With an average pace required of 6 minutes 18 seconds per mile this was always going to be a tall order.

Legs were 5, 10, 15 and 20 miles and the green vests had 4 teams attempting the feat. Nearly 60 runners competed altogether and some fast times were clocked with veteran ultra campaigner Allen Smalls running his 20 mile leg within a full solo marathon which he finished in less than 3 hours.

Although none of the teams got very close to the legendary team who carried the baton around in 1993, the Team of Steel ran out winners on the day finishing around an hour ahead of the other three teams, who amazingly were split by less than 4 minutes. 

Results of tribute to the team of ‘93 at the round Norfolk Relay:

  1. The Team of ‘93  21:00:00:  Paul Strutt, Tony Seakins, Graham Clark, Lynn Higgs, Linda Gaine, Liz Cudmore, Chris Akehurst, Richard Knights, Richard Gaine, Paul Willis, Tim Bartrum, Roger Hanks, Dave Lacy, Steve Garnham, Martin Longhurst, Moira Ainsley, Paul Parsons.
  2. Team of Steel 24:31:15: Jay Waite, Victoria Rae, Paul Rodgers, Chris Manby, Barry Frost, Steve Clark, Jennifer Lovelock, Luke Orrin, Dan Wilkinson, Tim Holden, Lee Caulfield, Richard Millward, James Waterson, Louise Yates, Paul Neville, Annette Oakman, Helen Thurlow.
  3. Team of Iron 25:26:47:  Jackie Gunther, Allen Smalls, Arthur Whiston, Richard Heath, Simon Miller, Charlie Holihan, Max Caulfield, Chris Stevenson, Kate Sandercock, Gary Licence, Seb Eaton, Martin Claydon, Mikey Smith, Richard Flutter, Kate Gibson, Simon Morgan, Mikey Smith.
  4. Team Cut Diamond 25:27:37:  Nate Filer, Andy Lovelock, James Gunther, Tim Ballard, John Day, Dan Cook, Andy Jobling, Jon Nears, Cheryl Appleby, Nicolas Krikta, Craig Mitchell, Kieran Callaghan, Keith Marley, Abigail Morgan, Sean Duffett, Fran Norris, James Plant, Bill Haining, Debbie Cattermole.    
  5. Team Carbon 25:30:55:  Kevin Higgins, David Wright, Rachel Rodgers, Graham Langford, Richard Boden, Paul Mingay, Chris Panton, Doug McGilvarry, Ellie Mayne, Colin Ridley, Ettie Stevenson, Heidi Steele, Dan Gabb, Gary Licence.